Healthy Heart

Extra Folic Acid Fails Against Heart Disease and Cancer

A lthough folic acid supplementation has proven benefts- most notably, preventing birth defects-hopes it might protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer were disappointed by a major new meta-analysis.

Update for Dietary Guidelines Underway

Two Tufts experts will be among the 15 scientists working to update the federal

Red Yeast Rice: Buyer Beware

Laboratory tests have revealed strik- ing variability in the active ingredi- ents in Chinese red yeast rice, a supple- ment touted as an alternative to statin drugs for improving cholesterol. Among 12 popular brands, levels of monacolin, which is related to the prescription cho- lesterol medication lovastatin, ranged from 0.31 mg to 11.15 mg per capsule. The type of monacolin (K) thats most similar to lovastatin varied from 0.10 mg to 10.09 mg per pill. Four samples also contained citrinin, which can dam- age the kidneys. Researchers noted that, as a dietary supplement rather than a drug, red yeast rice is largely unregulated and lacks the quality controls of pre- scription medications. Therefore, physi- cians should be cautious in recommend- ing red yeast rice to their patients. Long used in China, red yeast rice has recently soared in sales in the US, up 80% from 2005 to 2008.

No Joke: Prunes Work Better vs. Constipation

Long the object of jokes, prunes may now have the last laugh. New research demonstrates that prunes (dried plums) are more effective than psyllium fiber in combating constipation

No Link Between Folic Acid Supplements and Colorectal Cancer

A new American Cancer Society study concludes that theres no evidence folic acid from fortified foods or supplements increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Earlier research, including a 2007 Tufts study

Tufts Unveils New MyPlate for Older Adults

Just as the federal government updated its food pyramid with the new MyPlate

Grill Power!

Keep your summer grilling healthy and safe. Warmer weather means the return of backyard barbecue season and time to fire up the grill. Shifting the action outdoors lets you

Legumes Improve Heart Risk, Glycemic Control

A new study suggests that legumes could also lower cardiovascular risk by reducing blood pressure, along with improving glycemic control.

No Link Between Folic Acid Supplements and Colorectal Cancer

A new American Cancer Society study concludes that theres no evidence folic acid from fortified foods or supplements increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Earlier research, including a 2007 Tufts study